If you’re just starting out creating your own profitable blog or online business and haven’t done anything related before, chances are you dismissed creating a business plan.
You might have thought that’s something only big brands or companies need, not you as a one-(wo)man show working from your home.
Or maybe the concept seemed tedious and boring and you were already overwhelmed by the number of things on your to-do list.
Aside from the fact that you’re chronically short on time…
So why bother creating something that seems dispensable when you already have so much on your plate and so little time to get it all done? Can’t you just wing it?
Here’s why a business plan matters for ANYONE starting their own business – be it as a solopreneur or as the CEO of a cool startup.
1) You get clear on your business mission and vision
What is the mission and vision for your business? This is not an airy-fairy concept for charitable philanthropists. This really is a question that is worth finding an answer for.
It’s what drives you to create it in the first place. It’s your big WHY. The core reason why you choose to go ahead and create your own business.
And no, “making money” should not be the answer to that question. Obviously, you wanna make money in the process, otherwise it wouldn’t be a business, but if you don’t believe in the intrinsic value of whatever you’re offering then your foundation is pretty shaky.
Creating a business plan forces you to dig deep and get very clear about the people you want to serve, the value you provide, and how your offer changes the world for the better for your target audience.
This will create the right mindset to help you stay motivated and get through the inevitable rough patches that lie ahead on your online business journey.
2) You set yourself goals to work towards
Once you figured out what your business mission & vision is, it will be easier to set yourself goals to work towards.
You can start with a big end goal and work your way backward:
- How many people do you want to reach? In what time?
- How much would you need to earn to justify pouring all that time and energy into your new venture?
- To reach that big end goal, what are the milestones you need to achieve on your way?
Those are all questions you try to find an answer to when drafting your business plan.
Don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to have it all figured out in the beginning. But it’s easier to find your way when you know where you want to go.
Not having any goals leaves you wandering about with no direction.
3) You define the strategy you’re going to use to reach your goals
This is the part where you create your map. You know where you want to go, now you map out how to get there!
This is where you define your strategies.
- What marketing strategies are you going to use?
- Do you know what platforms are you going to use for your marketing?
- Is there a specific type of content you should create?
It’s ok if you don’t know the answers to all those questions straight away.
Now you know what you should be researching. When you’re done with your research, go ahead and write a plan.
While you can’t be 100% sure your plan will work, you have an educated guess to get you started. If it doesn’t work, go back to the drawing board and adjust the plan.
Your business plan isn’t set in stone. It’s a starting point just waiting to be tweaked when things don’t work according to plan.
Take away message
I hope you see now how having a proper business plan in place is beneficial for everyone starting their own business.
Investing the time to go through all the REALLY important questions in the beginning might seem an annoying waste of your time at first. But it will likely save you a ton of time in the long run.
If you’ve been working at building your own online business for a while now but haven’t been getting the results you were hoping for – it might be wise take a step back, sit down and draft a business plan. Maybe you’ll discover where a critical puzzle piece is missing and what you need to change in order to move forward.
The beauty of having a business plan is that it brings all aspects of your business together and lets you see the big picture more clearly. There are so many moving pieces! And they all need to fit together.
I totally get it, putting all those puzzle pieces together can seem hugely overwhelming!
It took me forever to figure out what to include and how to write mine!
To make things easier for you, I wrote a blog post that walks you through all the important steps of writing your own business plan. You can check it out here:
But if all that still sounds waaay too overwhelming and complicated and all you need is a birds-eye-view of the whole online business journey, I’ve got a FREE checklist with 25 actionable steps to follow when you’re creating your own profitable blog or online business from scratch.